Recent posts by issendorf on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

What I’m saying is that the general way of acting does not differ between fundamentalists of different beliefs – they will use violence, oppression, and justify it in the name of that belief.

Except, again, fundamentalists do not act the same way at the same time. The fact that Christians were violent before or may be violent in the future means absolutely nothing when discussing who is currently behaving violently today.

You wanting to argue that, because the majority of terror attacks today are committed by radical Muslims, that means Islam as a whole is somehow worse than any other religion.

“Not saying one is better than the other. I’m saying there’s only one perpetrating mass killing in the name of its God.” I guess I probably should have added the word currently since you seem incapable of utilizing any context clues whatsoever.

Yeah, because presidential hopefuls suggesting the equivalent of internment camps and mandatory registration into a database for Muslims, alongside the monitoring of mosques, isn’t a troubling sign. In case you don’t recall, that’s how the holocaust started.

Trump, Carson and Cruz will never be elected President. Hopefully that makes you feel somewhat safer.

He just doesn’t get it that certain steps taken to reduce gun violence in the U.S. won’t be such negatives for the gun crowd.

Sorta like how you don’t get that targeting radical Islam doesn’t mean all Muslims are targeted, right?

Good grief. Your methods of contention border on childishly moving the goal posts.

Actually, I’ve been very clear that I’m focused on current-day terror. Not my problem you are selectively reading my posts.

If there is a coin and it has two sides, then EVERYTHING has to be on one of the sides.

Almost nothing is a coin; almost nothing is black and white; almost nothing is right and wrong. Religion is probably the last thing that would neatly fit into your “two sides of the same coin” analogy.

Christians = good … to the point of near perfect.
Muslins = bad … simply because a very small percentage are fucking crazy.

Still never said Islam is bad. I said they currently have an issue with violence since, again, they’re the only major religion engaging in it on a widespread scale.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

Being on THE SAME SIDE OF THE COIN does mean that they have that relationship … one of DEGREES in the same area.

So a mass murderer and a jaywalker are then also two sides of the same coin since they’re both on the same side of the criminal coin.

Why not drop the bullshit and try to be adult to support your points instead of this trollish shit of distortion of what ppl are saying?

I guess you’ve missed saying for 2.5 pages how Christianity and Islam aren’t currently in the same stratosphere when it comes to violence today as opposed to you continuing to bring up an example in Ireland that’s been largely violent-free for the past 15 years. You, on the other hand, are think comparing Kim Davis to the terrorism that just happened in Mali is a relatively apt comparison. Maybe if you won’t listen to me, maybe a lefty rag will convince you that you’re completely wrong.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to talk honestly about Islam. For liberals in particular, it’s a kind of heresy to suggest that Islam, at this particular moment in history, has a problem. This is unfortunate, and it has to end.

All religions are not the same. All faith traditions are not equally wise or equally tolerant or equally peaceful. A fundamentalist Jain is not the same as a fundamentalist Christian. A devout Quaker and a committed Wahhabist have very different ideas about justice and equality and morality. And to the extent that Quakers and Wahhabists live by the light of these ideas, the differences between them are vast and consequential."


ISIS doesn’t represent true Islam, just as the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t speak for Christianity. But both are religious problems, and one is clearly more dangerous and ascendant than the other.”

You’ve been doing it to Kasic.

I sorta stopped taking Kasic seriously when he said the right wing in this country is more dangerous than ISIS.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

Fundamentalists of any belief behave in the same general manner and will use extreme measure to oppress their beliefs onto others if given the opportunity.

This would be super compelling if they actually were, you know, behaving in the same general manner. Except they aren’t. Extreme Christians are just as capable of strapping on an explosive vest and heading to the local shopping center in order to kill the gays (or whatever they’d be motivated to do). Guess what? They aren’t doing that!

So again I say, Christian fundamentalism is not different than Muslim fundamentalism, which is not different than Jewish fundamentalism, which is not different than any other group of fundamentalists religious or not. I can’t explain this any better, so if you still keep going on about the same thing about how Christians aren’t bombing planes, this conversation isn’t going anywhere else.

That’s essentially saying that a person who steals a candy bar from a grocery store (radical Christian) is the same as a person who commits arson at a grocery store (radical Islam) because both are criminals (radicals).

What I can’t get past is this idea you’re presenting that all radical ideologies are essentially the same and ignoring the actual actions of the groups. Essentially, you’re criminalizing thought and blowing off the actions made by the groups. Not only are you blowing off the actions of the violent group, but you think the non-violent group is a bigger threat! That’s how backwards your logic is right now.

We may not be at DefCon 4 on this where we are bombing ppl as in Paris; BUT, this shit is most certainly ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE COIN.

“Terrorists setting off bombs is basically the same thing as people saying mean words.”

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

No, I don’t.

Glad to hear your claim that “fundamentalist Christians like we have in the United States and fundamentalist Muslims who comprise ISIS are two sides of the same coin” is utter horseshit. I knew we’d get there in the end eventually.

Hmm, Muslims indiscriminately bombing Christians, Christians indiscriminately bombing Muslims…nope, not the same thing at all.

Apparently we didn’t get there!

It’s hard to take this bumper sticker quote line seriously when you literally just said you have no evidence of Christians bombing cities in the name of Jesus.

You don’t think bombing weddings, funerals, and hospitals is terrorism? Because we’re doing that. You don’t think capturing innocent people on vague suspicion, removing them from their country, and bringing them back here to be tortured isn’t terrorism? Because we’re doing that.

We’re not bombing weddings and hospitals in the name of waging a holy war. That’s kind of an important caveat you so cavalierly throw away.

As an aside, I’m never defended the drone program, so you can put yet another straw man in the closet if you wouldn’t mind.

The religions themselves do not inherently cause violent behavior. It’s the people in the area and the fundamentalist way of interpreting them. Christianity is not any better than Islam.

To clarify, are you saying that ISIS and Boko Haram aren’t motivated by religion?

You’re right, it’s not. The USA and Russia were the ones who created the shit storm in the middle east, and the USA is the one who has been fueling it for the last decade. We’ve killed far more than they have and have caused far more politically motivated atrocities than they have. We’re the ones who created the situations that caused them, in case you’ve forgotten.

I still haven’t defended the United States’ foreign policy. I’m sure that’s killing you since you seem awfully committed to trying to make that link.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Evangelical Voters and Syrian Refugees

Oh it’s a miscalculation. Unfortunately for you, it’s the Dems who are miscalculating. Independents support the GOP by 20 points on this and I read this morning 50 House Dems are going to vote for the House bill to stop them.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

The irony is that after 4? posts you still don’t seem to understand that fundamentalist Christians like we have in the United States and fundamentalist Muslims who comprise ISIS are two sides of the same coin. Fundamentalism under any name manifests itself in the same ways.

Do you have that example of Christian fundamentalists blowing up airliners or committing mass shootings in their God’s name? Still waiting for those since you like to keep conflating them. After all, they’re basically the same thing, so you should have no problem finding a band of rogue Christian radicals storming through the desert in Toyotas.

The fact is, radical Islam is behaving in a brutally violent manner on a frighteningly regular basis. Radical Christianity isn’t.

The fact is, most sects that are causing political terrorism today are based in Islam, not Christianity. If you want to make the laughable claim that somehow all fundamentalists are behaving identically, go right ahead. It’ll only be like the fourth most baffling statement you would have made in this thread.

The fact is, nearly 33k people were killed by terrorism last year and more than half were committed by ISIS and Boko Haram. Newsflash: Those are Islamic entities, and that 51% doesn’t include the thousands of other terror deaths caused by smaller Muslim sects. It’s not even fucking close who is cause havoc in the world. But sure, feel free to keep turning blind eye or somehow think that they’re not much worse than radical Christians.

I very much have an issue with anyone relying on superstition to make policy decisions. There’s a distinct difference between being religious and imagining you are being told to do something by some powerful, all knowing figure.

Would a belief that an act is morally just be an acceptable justification for voting for a particular policy? Or is anything other than cold logic and facts something you have an issue with?

For instance, if someone supports taking in the Syrian rebels because it’s morally just to help the world’s less fortunate based on their reading of Scripture, would you have an issue with that legislator? If so, how do you distinguish between a person’s abstract moral code and a person’s religion (which is typically the framework for that person’s sense of morality)? Or is divine intervention the only rationale that you are opposed to (meaning you are generally okay with a legislator voting in favor of taking in the refugees because it’s something God would want us to do)?

What I’ve been trying to get across is that it’s not just radical Islam causing a problem.

Which isn’t something that I’ve disagreed with. Ever. Indeed, in the previous paragraph, you acknowledge that “you’ve made it blatantly clear you think radical Islam is far more of a problem than other radical, violent sects.” Which begs the question why you feel the need to keep reiterating this point since, again, a comparison to other violent sect inherently suggest they exist.

I think radical Islam is the biggest issue when it comes to terrorism. You think Ted Cruz is a far more pressing concern to national security. I’ll just let that scorching hot take speak for itself.

(edited for clarity a couple of times)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

It’s extremely alarming to hear the batshit crazy things they are seriously proposing, things that if you swapped out God for Allah and Christian for Muslim and Bible for Koran, these same people would be running around screaming the Muslims have come to impose Sharia law.

The irony here is your rhetoric about the religious right is pretty much identical to that of people of Sean Hannity’s ilk who claim Obama is a Manchurian President.

Right. I’m sure you’re totally unaware of the tight link to Christianity the United States has in its policies and stated reasons for acting.

I’m taking this as a “That isn’t something POTUS is doing.”

It’s the same thing in the end. No one does what they think is wrong. Terrorists justify their actions for killing civilians and so do we. What it comes down to in the end is that the methods chosen to try and reach those goals knowingly resulted in the deaths in the process.

It actually isn’t the same thing. Terrorism exists because actors don’t have the clout to negotiate through any other means. Now, you can hate the U.S. drone strikes, but unless you want to change what the definition of terrorism actually is, the actions of the U.S. military and the actions of ISIS aren’t the same. That distinction, between terrorism and military strikes, matters.

What would be interesting to know is how many of them came to their decision through prayer.

Oh I’m sure many prayed for wisdom. Obviously you’ll have an issue with that because God forbid there are any religious legislators.

You imply it with these statements:

I’ve made it blatantly clear that I think radical Islam is far more of a problem than other radical, violent sects. Viewing something as being the most problematic doesn’t mean that there are no other problem groups. Indeed, it implies that there are other problems since using the word most implies a comparison among other things.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

Do I think that right wing extremists in the United States are more of a threat than ISIS and Global terrorism by radical Muslims? Yes, I do. These idiots are the ones who are voting for our government officials, and the crazy circus that is the Republican presidential nomination is far more of a threat than ISIS (with the exception of Rand Paul and John Kasich, the naive two).

Tl;dr: “People who vote a different way than me are dangerous.” I give you credit for honesty at least.

Do weddings count? How about hospitals? We bomb those pretty regularly.

That depends if Obama is performing the drone strikes in the name of God. That really doesn’t sound like something this President would do.

Bush did not declare war on ISIS.

No shit.

He declared war on Iraq saying they had WMD’s, while knowing they did not…

Hahahahahaha. Oh this is great.

What I have an issue with is a president using religious doctrine and superstition to guide actions.

Agreed, although Congress supported both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and God wasn’t invoked on the floor of the Senate nor the House when the wars were debated upon.

Still conveniently ignoring how many hundreds of thousands more civilians of other nations have been killed by the USA.

I’m not ignoring it, I just don’t find it to be particularly relevant in a discussion about terrorism, unless you want to make the argument that civilians killed by drone strikes is an act of terror being carried out by the Obama and Bush Administrations.

Yeah, it’s totally a straw man to point out your hypocrisy. I concede. Our civilians being killed is a reason to kill theirs, but theirs being killed means they should shut up and not get so angry because they’re all barbaric Muslims anyways.

I’m sorry, where was it that I condoned the United States’ foreign policy decisions or said only Muslims are violent? I’m pretty dovish (at least compared to others on the Right) – you’re not going to get much argument from me on this, hence why it continues to be a straw man.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

How is it meaningless that right wing extremists – the very same people who so loudly decry Islamic terrorism – are responsible for more attacks against Americans than Muslims?

It’s meaningless because you’re trying to make the absurd claim that right wing extremists (the fact that the think tank is using that label makes the organization look like a joke, but I’ll go with it) are more of a threat than global Islamic terrorism. The deaths in Paris and Beirut over the past several days dwarf what right wing terrorists have done over the past 15 years.

That’s not even to begin with the plethora of flaws this data represents. Oddly, it starts immediately after the deadliest attack on U.S. soil – mayhaps we start the counter in 2000 and see where exactly the death tolls are at. It also omits the thousands of U.S. soliders killed by militant Muslims in the Middle East – are those irrelevant? They are, after all, American citizens killed by radical Islam.

The point is that if it’s not one group of crazy, extremist idiots, it’s another. In the past it was Christianity. Today it is Islam.

You said it best. Today it is Islam. I prefer to focus on the biggest problem today rather than relitigating the past.

Christians happen to reside predominantly in the world’s most developed, prosperous nations that provide education to all of their citizens. What do those extremists fight against, both here and around the world? Education that goes against their ridiculous beliefs.

It turns out Christians also reside in the Middle East where they’re being beheaded. Last I checked, that isn’t happening to Muslims in these Christian nations.

It’s cute you think it’s hypothetical that Christians don’t act violently in the name of their beliefs.

Still waiting for you to point to the Christian radicals bombing passenger jets in the name of Jesus.

Except it’s not only one group. It sure must be convenient to ignore President Bush and how we’ve killed hundreds of thousands of them.

So either A) You think Bush’s intentions weren’t moral (I thought the left was all into getting rid of despot rulers in the Middle East?) or B) You think ISIS’s actions are morally justifiable. It’s the only two reasons I can see that you keep beating this dead horse. Unless there’s a C that I’m missing?

We’ve killed far more of them than they have of us. But you can just keep pretending that only Muslims act violent in modern times, when the fact is that people, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of them, will invoke those beliefs they have as justification for tangential goals.

Keep setting up those straw men, chief.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The final rejection of Obama has begun, a new GOP dawn is about to happen.

A new legacy of the GOP is coming, with Trump as President, and with the GOP holding both the house and senate. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Liberals are going to enjoy REAL CHANGE, not the bullshit Obama has given this country.

I hate to burst your trollish bubble, but Trump is basically a liberal, albeit an especially xenophobic liberal (which is rare!).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11

This data is largely meaningless since terror is global – not simply confined to the U.S.

Because historically Christians totally weren’t the ones invading and slaughtering in the name of their god.

So the standard we’re using for radical Islam is 14th century Christians? If I were Muslim, I think I’d be more offended stating we have a mindset that’s 700 years old versus stating that there are some evil members within my religion’s ranks.

Also, Christians have what the radical Muslims want. Nations that have Christian laws which are wealthy and can wage wars on others. Ie, the USA? Bush invoked God’s name to invade Iraq, for starters.

I think you’re overestimating the role economics is playing in the rise of ISIS and radical Islam. This is probably my favorite piece that provides an overview of the motives for ISIS.

If we were to flip the situation, where the world’s wealthiest and most powerful country was ~78% Muslim, with their laws based on Islam in large part, who waged war against your country while invoking Allah’s name, you can bet the fundamentalist Christians would be carrying out the lion’s share of terrorist attacks. Currently they just have no reason to because they’re in the position of power and when it’s the government killing civilians who happen to be Muslims of another country, we don’t call that terrorism.
When you look at the rates of fundamentalist Christians, well, let’s just throw back what you’ve said?
“Even if 10% of Christians have been radicalized – a relatively conservative estimate – that’s still 220 million people.”
Tough luck if that hurt’s the feelings of Christians.

It’s a cute hypothetical, but it’s just that – a hypothetical. When Christians start bombing jets in the name of Jesus, feel free to call out radical Christians as being terrorists.

So please, let’s not pretend that Christianity, or any religion, or any political doctrine, is better than another. They’re all huge groups of diverse people that teach insane beliefs if taken literally, and we’ve seen time and time again that taking anything to the extreme often results in violence.

This isn’t an issue so clean that you can point to one group and say they’re the problem. Anyone who thinks they can is an idiot and a bigot further fueling the flames. It’s not an issue that will ever be solved by violence, and it’s not an issue that the USA alone (not so ironically one of the major causes) can fix.

Not saying one is better than the other. I’m saying there’s only one perpetrating mass killing in the name of its God. If you want to think protesters showing pictures of aborted fetuses to women heading into an abortion center is on the same level as a terror attack that kills 40 in Beirut, that’s your opinion. You’ll forgive me if I think mass slaughter is a little damning than shouting mean words.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Beliefs About Sharia Among Muslims

It is easy to depict Christianity in the same way.

Is it now? Lots of radical Christians blowing up passenger jets and shooting up Western capitals recently? As bad as Westboro is, I don’t recall them stoning gays recently, but maybe I just missed that particular news cycle.

The fact that anyone would intentionally want to depict a group of one-and-a-half BILLION people as universally feeling one way or another is rather stupid. If one-and-a-half BILLION people wanted to exterminate anyone, those people would be exterminated.

Pointing out that radical Islamists doesn’t do anything to the total group – it simply reiterates the fact (is it still PC to state facts or will this make any students at Yale reading this feel unsafe?) that terrorism today is overwhelmingly being done by radical Islamists. Even if 10% of Muslims have been radicalized – a relatively conservative estimate – that’s still 160m radicalized people. That’s a lot, and pretending that all religions are somehow fostering terror cells will lead to a disappointing realization at some point in the future.

Tough luck if that hurts people’s feelings. You know whose feelings are also hurt? The families of the 150 who were slaughtered in Paris in the name of Allah.

The real threat is to lose one’s humanity and compassion while feeling afraid or angry (if you’re feeling afraid or angry).

Humanity and compassion don’t work real well during war. Those feelings get you killed.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Changes In News

Broadly, as pete mentions, story arcs shifts and narratives also shift. Partly, this occurs because stories evolve and partly because if the story remains static, people lose interest which is inherently bad for the media. As to the particular you stories you outlined, my theories for the shift in coverage:

I’ve recently noticed that there has been a change in the way the wage gap is being reported. The past few times I’ve seen a number cited, an accompanying adjusted number for variables has been included such as in this article (which was quite interesting to read).

The 77% that was commonly thrown out has been so thoroughly debunked that journalists have to mention which variables are being controlled to have any modicum of objectivity.

Less specifically, the way race issues are being reported has also changed significantly during the past two years. Before the Michael Brown shooting, reports of black men/teenagers being shot did not include many statements from police, and if there were police statements, they were typically noncommittal and defensive. Now the default response is much more submissive and apologetic and almost always includes someone in charge being quoted on saying they do not find the actions taken appropriate and will investigate.

The issues of criminal justice reform have finally gotten mainstream attention, he

Lastly, what happened to climate change? I haven’t seen or heard anything about it in the news recently, for or against. The last thing I can recall is a short blurb about the ice in the Antarctic growing (totally expected from global warming and predicted over 70 years ago, btw), which normally would have been big news.

Most of the news isn’t exactly favorable to the carbon alarmists, therefore it’s not exactly an interesting topic for journalists.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / What Are You Reading?

Continually wading through A Song of Ice and Fire.

I also just got the biography of Napoleon by Andrew Roberts. It’s beefy, but really quite fantastic if you have any interest in him (which you should since he’s utterly fascinating).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Avenues to Reduce Gun Violence

I see no harm in implementing and enforcing a universal 24-hour background check. If that’s the Constitutional line that you draw, Issendorf, I would consider it rather uncompromising. If 24-hours is unconstitutional, aren’t background checks also unconstitutional? Would a CC permit be unconstitutional?

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but I took the universal background check was to apply to all gun purchases (not taking into account transfers within a family, which aren’t checked [nor should they be]). Generally speaking, there are three types of gun purchases:

A) Person in State A buys gun from a gun store (location of gun store is irrelevant)
B) Person in State A buys gun from a person in State B
C) Person in State A buys gun from a person in State A

Situations A and B already require background checks federally. For situation C, the sale of a good between two private citizens has always been regulated by the state and should continue to do so. My objection isn’t to a background check in situation C – it’s that any background checks in situation C should be handled by the state, not the feds, and it’s up to each state to decide whether they want to conduct background checks on those purchases. My concern has nothing to do with the 24-hour time period.

I see no problem requiring a background check on CC licenses.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Avenues to Reduce Gun Violence

Although the term “assault weapons” is highly subjective, the goal is to reduce the number of military-styled weapons available to casual gun consumers.

I’m only singling this one out since this is the only one I take umbrage with (although the rest of the list will likely do very little to do much of anything sans mental health treatment – but if Washington wants to implement them, more power to them).

An assault weapon ban has already been used, and it it did basically nothing in terms of gun violence. The reason is that the overwhelming majority of gun crimes are committed with handguns which, outside of a Constitutional amendment to the 2nd (never going to happen), are never going away. And magazine size, while it get a lot of hype, is largely a non-issue since you can reload in about 4 seconds.

In terms of the universal 24-hour background check, I question whether that would even be Constitutional. Transactions between two private citizens that doesn’t cross state borders has always been the purview of the states, not the federal government. Perhaps with a liberal-majority SCOTUS this could get through, but I highly doubt it given the Court’s current make up. Cracking down on straw purchases would be a far better use of our time.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun issues updates

Where do you get that from? Can you show me where I’ve been “sanctimonious?” What’s wrong with you?

Your entire shtick is being sanctimonious. The bullshit comes from your blatant disregard for the facts of gun violence in this country.

wherever dudes like you congregate after you’re done with your day.

I assume you mean “cool dudes”.

What you posted is a study showing that gun-related homicides are down. While I appreciate hearing that, it is not a refutation of the Harvard study. Did you think it was a fair comparison? If so, please explain to me (or us) why you think that… I’m curious.

Correct, gun-related homicides are down while the number of guns has increased (more guns → less crime). That seems to at least call into the question the study you cited, does it not?

Then look at this massive list.

Yeah, that sure is a compelling list. This is one of my favorites: Police said one person has been arrested for a shooting at Pershing Elementary School. The shooting occurred in the parking lot, with a 34-year-old-man being shot in the buttocks.

This one is pretty compelling too: During school board committee elections, H. C. Branstetter attempted to murder H. B. Eastman. He shot once but was overtaken before he could fire again.

That’s totally what I think of when it comes to school shootings.

the policy won’t work whatsoever

Why should we implement a regulation if it won’t accomplish anything?

military style assault firearms

Can you explain to me, in your own words, what an assault firearm is?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obamacare is a nightmare, and it's getting worse.

I guess ya either didn’t FULLY read what I said; or, ya just don’t understand it.

And yet, shockingly, Americans’ don’t like it. And those numbers will likely become even more dire as a) penalties increase b) state exchanges continue to fall apart and c) the plans people like will be cancelled, rendering that famous sales pitch even more of a lie than when it escaped Obama’s lips the first time.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun issues updates


I feel like that was a pretty straight forward sentence.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun issues updates

For every 1% increase in gun ownership, there was a 1.1% increase in the gun-related homicide rate. This means that guns don’t just put us proportionately more at risk… a 1-to-1 ratio… but actually add to the risk. Additionally, homicides in general also correlate to gun ownership. For every 1% increase in gun ownership, homicides (of all types) rises by 0.7%.

Care to explain this then? Especially when you consider the number of background checks conducted has sky rocketed?

Meanwhile, (to date), 74 school shootings since Newtown. (At least.)

No, no there hasn’t been. Unless, of course, your idea of a school shooting is a guy unaffiliated with the school committing suicide in his truck in the parking lot.

And even when you consider actual school shootings, there isn’t a single regulation that the left has proposed that would have stopped just about any of them. So stop with the sanctimonious bullshit that it’s the gun nuts who are causing school shootings – they are just as helpless to stop them as you are.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we deal with pharmaceutical companies?

Mandating a fixed ratio would be a nightmare, I agree. But what about making it opt-in? Maybe companies that agree to keep marketing spending below a certain percentage (and R&D spending above a certain percentage) could get an extension on their patents? This would also have the effect of diverting more revenue to nonprofit research institutions who are already spending at these desired ratios, which they could then in turn reinvest in research.

I would prefer the incentive would instead be focused around expanding the R&D tax credit based on the percentage of profits used for R&D. The current patent regime is already clamping down innovation in the pharmaceutical industry (thereby increasing costs for consumers); expanding the patents is only going to exacerbate that particular problem.

The approval process absolutely drives up costs, but which steps do you propose to eliminate? While FDA has its flaws, its purpose is true: to make sure that drugs that enter the market (a) aren’t dangerous and (b) do what they’re supposed to do.

That is the million dollar question, and while I’m not terribly familiar with the steps a drug goes through to reach market, I have to imagine that there a number of inefficiencies and unnecessary regulations within that process that can be done away with without jeopardizing public safety.

So this produces a bias borne from availability heuristic in which patients are guided to ask for newer, more expensive, brand-name drugs instead of cheaper, well-studied generics. Why is this a good thing?

That’s just like any item that has a generic counterpart. When I buy groceries, I can buy Honey Nut Cheerios at Cub, or I can head over to Aldi and get the Honey Nut O’s for essentially the same cereal at a steeply reduced cost. Now, obviously cereal and prescription drugs are as an apples to oranges comparison as there ever will be, but regardless, I don’t think either General Mills nor Big Drug are to be condemned for their marketing and barring a company from engaging in speech (which is essentially what a ban on advertising is) is a precedent that should be treated extremely carefully.

I think the answer instead is PSA campaigns that show people that using generics are fine and any stigmas against them are largely inaccurate.

I’m not saying remove news about new drugs, I’m saying remove advertising (that is direct to consumers).

We’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this – the free speech zealot in me is just far too concerned with this. I get why you’re against them, and it’s wholly justifiable; I just don’t think it’s quite compelling enough to cut off that avenue of speech.

The problem, as in the free lunch situation, is that it can be hard to describe what counts as lobbying. But if we could do that, I’d absolutely be in favor.

I think it’d essentially be the money used for marketing. I have to imagine there’s someone far smarter than me who could write a nuanced regulation that exempts the small-ball stuff and only kicks in with the disclosures once a significant sum is reached. I have no frame of reference on what a drug company spends on marketing to a given hospital, so I have no real idea what that number would be.

Similar to campaign finance reform, while I generally oppose contribution limits, so too would I oppose marketing limits, but I think disclosure requirements are an important element in both instances.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we deal with pharmaceutical companies?


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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we deal with pharmaceutical companies?

For example, how would you feel about requiring companies to publish all studies they conduct, rather than just the handful that confirm their new drug’s efficacy?

I’m always hesitant when hearing about an “all or nothing” mandate from the government, but I generally do think that all of this data should be released.

On the other hand, the claim that they’re pouring all their profits back into research is ridiculous – they only spend some 10-20% on R&D – about half of marketing spending.

The first half is a fair critique, but I think that marketing budget is fairly justifiable. As you rightly state, it costs a lot of money to bring a drug to market, and there’s an incredibly high failure rate. Yet these drug companies tend to have a pretty short window of time in order to recoup the costs spent on developing the drug. Because of that short window of time, those drug companies pretty much have to engage in massive marketing blitzes on hospitals and doctors; otherwise they risk of doctors not prescribing their drugs and all that work becomes unprofitable.

I don’t know what the ‘right’ balance of spending is between R&D and Marketing, but I sure as hell don’t want the government imposing the ratio that they see to be correct on private enterprises.

They’re making incredible profits on sales, and meanwhile, drug prices remain sky-high for non-generic formulations, out of reach of many.

I can just as easily point to FDA regulations that drive up the costs of drugs, and the approval process is undeniably a factor in costs. The approval process takes one of two routes. Either a) the drug/technology is experimental, meaning the regulations surrounding it are murky, making bring the drug/technology to market a big gamble or b) the drug/technology is based on established principles, meaning there are more than likely onerous regulations in place that jack up the cost.

Either way, the middle-man that is the FDA is contributing to these costs in a way that, I would argue, is far more problematic than what Gilead spends on Marketing.

For the record, I think that direct marketing of pharmaceuticals to consumers is absurd. The information is available online for anyone who cares to seek it, and those who don’t simply do not have the information to make an educated decision. I’d like to see drug ads go the way of the cigarette ad.

I have no problem with this as these direct to consumer ads are pretty much the only way they’re going to know that multiple types of drugs exist to treat a certain ailment. I think the idea that consumers are going to research all of the different cholesterol medications on their own doesn’t actually occur in the real world, but if they see a TV or magazine ad for a new cholesterol medication, I think the chances they’ll look into it or ask their doctor are far higher.

What I would generally be in favor of, and I’m not sure whether this is a current regulation or not, is forcing hospitals/doctors to disclose whether they’ve been lobbied by a specific drug company as a means of combating possible conflicts of interests when prescribing treatment.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we deal with pharmaceutical companies?

And yet, they are filthy rich …. imagine that, eh?

So in your mind, a regulation is only successful if it impoverishes someone. Makes sense considering you vote Democrat.

BTW, check out how much a pharma-rep makes

You’ve mistaken me with someone who has wage envy for anyone who earns more than themselves.

How oh-so nice of ya to slice out ONLY the first half of my point …. but then, THAT is YOU. LOL

A discussion about price controls on utilities seemed a bit off-topic on a thread about drug companies. Similarly, one of your (largely inaccurate) rants about income inequality also seems out of place in this thread, hence the reason I completely ignored it.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How do we deal with pharmaceutical companies?

Vote in a Congress that will DO THE RIGHT THING and clamp down on it w/ massive regulations.

It’s adorable that you don’t think pharmaceutical companies aren’t already massively regulated.

I know a lot of ppl think the govt. is shit at “running things”.

I mean, the government is shit at running things. That’s sort of been pretty well established by this point.